Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 5, May 2003

so i give some guy two cards.
sign a piece of paper
and he gives me a car.
i cant believe im getting away with this again but i am……and i’m steering and writing at the same time. i got a picture of eddie shaver that someone in houston gave me on the dash board…..jerry jeff walkers jazz album on the cd player, and i just smoked half the joint that someone else in houston gave me ….this record is great.
i think i’m on i-10 coming out of houston…..on my way to san marcos to visit my friend kent finlay and his son sterling……..
and i am just this second getting out of traffic (pause)
now im in kents house…… nobody is here……
he lives in martindale…..
the drive way is one of those long rounding ones the trees have made a tunnel over. the house he built himself a long time ago.
from the back porch you look about fifty yards down a hill at the san marcos river as it turns against one of those red dirt cliff looking things…..
i remember swimming down there with sterling when he was five….hes twenty two now.
i met kent the first time i sang in a real club.
it was wendsday night songwriters night.
i had no place to stay so he and his wife diana gave me the couch for the summer……. he turned me on to kristofferson,shaver,prine,guy clarke,shel silverstien and some others….kent is one of my all time favorite songwriters and a long time close friend …….. to this minute hes the first person i play a new song for
and as it turns out
i still know how to break into his house
and where he keeps his wine.
shit. car. (repause)
(unpause) its just sterling….we’re going to cheatham street. (rerepause)
its three oclock in the morning …
everybody is asleep.
im on the same couch i slept on in the summer of 86……..
tonight was songwriter night….i couldnt believe sterling…..he sang his song and i knew the second he started that it was true and that he had lived it…..and the crowd got real quiet…i think it was about some fight he had with his exgirlfriend in austin…..her name is angie and she sang too and she was cool too. .sterling and her seem part of this little gang of young songwriters that hang out there..its amazing..they really sit and listen to each other….like a scene or something…. .
i think sterling finlays name is gonna be added to that list of great texas singers
&i don’t think its gonna be very long before it happens either…
so i gotta wiesel my way in now somehow…..
at the end of the night someone asked kent to play a song called
“the mines of terlingua”……..
he just sat at a chair without a mic and played it…..it got real quiet and everybody moved closer to hear…when it was over somebody yelled for another one…
“i never will get over you”……
and then another one and on and on…….it was one of the best shows i’ve ever seen…
the guy can do anything..
if your ever near san marcos on a wendsday night…try to make it over to the cheatham street wharehouse…
be prepared though cuz if you got a song they’ll make you play it……
remember ed holcomb
god bless kent finlay
those are two things written on the bathroom wall there at cheatham street….
i wrote the one about ed holcomb
just about anybody coulda wrote the one about kent.
im starting to fade a little now so im gonna pause again and finish this when the runs over next week…. oh yeah, by the way…..the new record is out and doing pretty good so far…….
“every record that i make is like a record that i’ve made. just not as good.”
Randy newman…
i had a surfer friend in california tell me once that
surfing was not about waves.
he said it was about a wave.
and when it comes you dont ask it how big its gonna get, where its going
or tell it where to go …..
you just try your best to get up on there and go with it
sometimes you ride
sometimes you crash
you gotta love both to surf
i remember him telling me that everytime someone says
“your on”
peace and happy travels to everybody
see you at the beach
eat a peach
yours truly
two chord toad schneider
the tipsy gypsy